Mary Creagh

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Mary Creagh
PhD
MaryCreaghMP-withbrooch.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
Incumbent
Assumed office
5 November 2014
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Jim Murphy
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
In office
7 October 2013 – 5 November 2014
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Maria Eagle
Succeeded by Michael Dugher
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
8 October 2010 – 7 October 2013
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Hilary Benn
Succeeded by Maria Eagle
Member of Parliament
for Wakefield
Incumbent
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by David Hinchliffe
Majority 1,613 (3.6%)
Labour Group Leader on Islington Council
In office
2000–2004
Succeeded by Catherine West
Islington Borough Councillor
for Highbury West
In office
7 May 1998 – 5 May 2005
Succeeded by Theresa Debono
Personal details
Born (1967-12-02) 2 December 1967 (age 47)
Coventry, Warwickshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Adrian Pulham
Children 1 son, 1 daughter
Alma mater Pembroke College, Oxford
London School of Economics
Website www.marycreagh.co.uk

Mary Helen Creagh (born 2 December 1967) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wakefield since 2005 and the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development since November 2014.[1] Creagh has previously held the posts of Shadow Secretary of State for Transport and Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Background[edit]

Mary Creagh in Parliament

Creagh was born and brought up in Coventry of Irish parentage,[2] her father a car factory worker (from the Republic of Ireland) related to Ronald Creagh, and her mother a primary school teacher[3] (from Northern Ireland). She was educated at the Bishop Ullathorne Comprehensive School in Coventry and studied modern languages at Pembroke College, Oxford, completing an MA (Oxon),[4] and later European Studies at the London School of Economics. She has been elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

She worked in Brussels for four years, first as an intern at the European Parliament and then for the European Youth Forum. She taught entrepreneurship at the Cranfield University School of Management, and spent seven years as a trustee with Rathbone, a national charity.

Political career[edit]

Councillor[edit]

Creagh was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Islington in 1998, and served as the Labour group leader from 2000 to 2004. She stood down from the council in 2005 on her election to Parliament.

In 2002 Creagh instigated an investigation into cronyism in the appointment of the Islington Council Chief Executive by five Liberal Democrats councillors. After the longest ever investigation by the Standards Board for England her complaint was rejected. Creagh was criticised by the Tribunal as "heavily influenced by her political motives" and that she was an "insensitive witness, lacking in balanced judgment and one who was prepared to make assumptions about honesty and integrity of others without any proper basis."

However, Creagh defended herself saying she "blew the whistle because I believed the Liberal Democrats were not meeting the standards we expect from people in public office. I invite people to look at my evidence and draw their own conclusions."[5] The Liberal Democrats involved lost their council seats in the 2006 elections.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Creagh succeeded the retiring David Hinchliffe as MP for Wakefield. She won the seat in 2005 with a majority of 5,154, and held the seat - altered by boundary changes - with a majority of 1,613 five years later. She made her maiden speech on 25 May 2005 using the occasion to raise issues of poverty in her constituency. She also mentioned locally born sculptor Barbara Hepworth.[6] She was a member of the Human Rights Select Committee from 2005 until 2007, and was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Burnham, from 2006 until June 2009. In June 2009 she was made an assistant Government Whip in the Department of Health. In 2007 she was among those MPs who backed Gordon Brown for the leadership of the Labour Party.[7] In May 2010, Creagh supported David Miliband's bid to become Leader of the Labour Party.

She has campaigned successfully on a number of issues since entering parliament. In 2005 she introduced a Children's Food Bill which sought to introduce minimum nutritional standards for all school meals and take fizzy drinks and sugary snacks out of school vending machines. Both of these measures were accepted by the government and came into law as part of the Education and Inspections Bill 2006.[8]

In 2006 she launched a campaign aimed at preventing scalding injuries in the home. She brought together medical experts, campaign groups, and victims of scalding injuries to lobby the government to change the building regulations to prevent people being severely burned by scalding hot water. The coalition pressured the government to make the fitting of a water temperature regulating device, such as a Thermostatic Mixing Valve (TMV), compulsory in new bathrooms in England. In 2009, after a 3-year "Hot Water Burns Like Fire" campaign, the government confirmed that from April 2010 TMVs would be fitted as standard in all new bathrooms.[9][10]

From 2007 to 2009 Creagh was Chair of the Labour Movement for Europe,[11] succeeding Chris Bryant MP. She was succeeded by Richard Corbett MEP.

In 2009, as vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity, Mary Creagh called on Justice Secretary Jack Straw to tighten British Law so that people accused of genocide could be prosecuted in the UK. She said there was an "impunity gap" which allowed people accused of terrible crimes in places like Rwanda and Bosnia to escape justice and live freely in Britain.[12] As a result of this the government agreed to amend the Coroner's and Justice Bill and tighten the law so that anyone suspected of war crimes anywhere in the world since 1991 and resident in the UK can be prosecuted by UK courts.[13]

On 8 October 2010, Creagh was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. In February 2011 she secured a debate[14] in the House of Commons on the government’s plans to sell off 85% of its public forestry. The plans were subsequently abandoned by the government[15] as it had become clear the public "were not happy with the proposals".[16]

Creagh has criticised the decision by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to cut flood defence spending in real terms by 32%.[17] She has also been involved in campaigns calling for the banning of wild animals from circuses[18] and opposing the government’s policy of badger culling.[19] At the Labour Party’s annual conference in September 2011 Creagh launched Back the Apple[20] campaign with Unite the Union. The campaign opposes the government’s plan to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board[21] which sets wages and conditions for thousands of agricultural workers.

In October 2011 Creagh was retained by Opposition Leader Ed Miliband as Shadow Environment Secretary.

On 27 December 2013 she accused Thomas The Tank Engine series of being sexist toward female drivers.[22]

On 24 March 2014 she and Jamie Hanley opposed to the train fares price increases in New Pudsey which were proposed by Patrick McLoughlin. The opposition spread throughout 18 West Yorkshire stations, forcing McLoughlin to scrap the plan.[23] The same day she took part in the minibus opening ceremony which was hosted at the Colchester Community Volunteer Service in Colchester.[24] and two days later have accused the government of donating their time into privatizing East Coast Main Line instead of worrying about high fare prices.[25] In November 2014, she was shifted to the Shadow International Development brief.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Creagh has been married to Adrian Pulham since 2001 and they have a son, Clement (named after the former Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee) and a daughter, Beatrice.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29916620
  2. ^ Robert Waller and Byron Criddle (2007). The Almanac of British Politics. Taylor & Francis (8 ed.) (Routledge). ISBN 0-203-94691-X. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. 
  3. ^ James Chapman (28 March 2014). "'Other Labour MPs shun me because I DON'T have a regional accent', says one of Miliband's rising stars". Mail Online (Daily Mail). Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Mary Griffin (12 October 2010). "Cov kid Mary Creagh lands key Labour shadow cabinet role". Coventry Telegraph. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Matt Weaver. "Council leader cleared of cronyism charge". theguardian.com. Archived from the original on 17 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "Maiden speech in Hansard". Archived from the original on 7 November 2005. 
  7. ^ "Who's backing Gordon Brown?". theguardian.com. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "The Education and Inspections Bill 2006". Archived from the original on 3 May 2007. 
  9. ^ "'Hot Water Burns Like Fire'". Archived from the original on 13 October 2006. 
  10. ^ "BEAMA: MPs welcome scalding campaign success" (Press release). 10 July 2009. Archived from the original on 13 October 2006. 
  11. ^ www.labourmovement.eu
  12. ^ "UK plans new powers on genocide". BBC News. 7 July 2009. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. 
  13. ^ "Jack Straw to strengthen law title". Ministry of Justice. 7 July 2009. Archived from the original on 12 July 2009. 
  14. ^ "Public Forest Estate (England) debate". Hansard. 2 February 2011. Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. 
  15. ^ "Forest sale axed". BBC News Online. 16 February 2011. Archived from the original on 17 February 2011. 
  16. ^ "The future of forestry in England". DEFRA. 17 February 2011. Archived from the original on 28 April 2011. 
  17. ^ "Urgent Question: Flood defences". BBC News. 9 February 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Labour calls for ban on wild animals in circuses". BBC News. 19 May 2011. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Bovine TB Eradication Programme for England". DAFTA. Archived from the original on 2 November 2011. 
  20. ^ "Back the Apple". Labour Party. YouTube. 24 September 2011. 
  21. ^ "Agricultural employment and wages". DAFTA. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. 
  22. ^ Lucy Crossley (28 December 2013). "Thomas The Tank Engine is to blame for a lack of female train drivers because all characters are male, claims female Labour MP". Mail Onlile (Daily Mail). Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  23. ^ "Mary Creagh joins transport fight at New Pudsey". Telegraph & Argus. 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  24. ^ Wendy Brading (24 March 2014). "CCVS celebrates as sixth bus takes to the road". Essex County Standard. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  25. ^ "Fractious tracks". The Economist. 26 March 2014. Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  26. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29916620
  27. ^ "Mary Has A New Baby". Mary Creagh official website. 10 October 2007. Archived from the original on 31 October 2007. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Hinchliffe
Member of Parliament for Wakefield
2005–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Hilary Benn
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2010–present
Incumbent